Pasta: Italy’s most famous and popular food

The word pasta literally means ‘dough’ or ‘paste’. Pasta is a generic term used in reference to the whole range of products commonly known as spaghetti, macaroni, and noodles.

Italians, who are the largest consumers of pasta products in the world, call this product ‘pasta alimentare’.

It is an ancient food widely consumed in the world and represents one of the staple foods of the Mediterranean diet.

Pasta products are produced by mixing milled wheat, water, eggs (for egg noodles or egg spaghetti), and sometimes, optional ingredients. These ingredients are typically added to a continuous, high capacity auger extruder, which can be equipped with a variety of dyes that determine the shape of the product.

The basic pasta dough may be flavored or colored in various ways and common flavorings include spinach, garlic and chopped herbs.

Production and consumption of the various pasta products, which number approximately 150 in the United States, including spaghetti and macaroni; short cut products such as elbows, shells, and noodles; and such specialty products as bow ties, rigatoni, lasagna, etc.

It is rates as one of the most versatile food. It is adaptable to just about any vegetable, meat or fish one might have on hand.

It also provides significant quantities of complex carbohydrates, proteins, B-vitamins, and iron and is low in sodium, amino acids, and total fat.

Italy is generally regarded as the home of pasta products. There are many theories concerning its origin. They appear to have been first developed in Sicily and later in Japan. Certainly, Italy is the country which pasta products are most readily identified.

Pasta products, as what the people know them, were first made in Italy over 800 years ago. In the fifteenth century, Italians learned how to make noodles from the Germans, who had previously learned the process in their travels to Asia.

However, pasta dates much further back, maybe to the ancient Etruscans, who made pasta by grinding several cereals and grains and then mixing them with water, a blend that was later on cooked producing a tasty and nutritious food.

Others argue that the Roman poet Horace was the first to write about pasta with his mention of laganum, a possible ancestor do today’s lasagna.

Some think that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy in 1279. It doesn’t take an expert to confirm that a pasta is Italy’s most famous and popular food, the country’s preeminent contribution to its culinary culture.
Pasta: Italy’s most famous and popular food

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